Don't Walk Away From That Crevice

First off, Happy New Year to one and all. Instead of shutting down, I'm pushing ahead into 2018 with a new site look and a renewed hope I can make things happen for Bedrock Dreams from a monetization standpoint. If not, it wasn't meant to be I reckon. In the meantime let's talk crevices.

The General Rule

Over the years I've talked plenty about bedrock crevices and their capacity to catch and hold placer gold...and then, sometimes not. Obviously, the deeper those crevices lie under overburden or the more remote and hard to get at they are, the greater your chance of recovering some good gold from them. Why? Simply because they either have not been worked or they have replenished themselves over the course of time. Of course, I'm speaking here about crevices that lie in good deposition areas and where the bedrock structure lends itself to gold capture. The general rule of thumb, once again, is that sharper, more angular bedrock is the best type of gold catcher but often smoother or more rounded bedrock can be as good IF it contains decent crevices that lie perpendicular to stream or wash flow.

 (Me using my "Gold Bug" Pro in a section of shallow bedrock. I'm not nugget hunting per se...just trying to find oxidized iron and lead deeper down in those crevices. If you don't know why, ask me.)

What've You Got to Lose?

The easiest crevicing opportunities (if the term "easy" can be applied to anything dealing with gold mining!) are those that are exposed or lying under very shallow overburden (rocks, cobble, and gravel). This is true whether your crevicing activities are taking place above water or below it (underwater sniping). Either way, we often fool ourselves into believing that easy-to-reach crevices have already been worked out. More often than not this is indeed the case, but NOT in every instance. Granted, if that crevice is devoid of contents and little mounds of rock, dirt, and gravel sit adjacent to it then it's probably been worked. But the question here is has it been worked well? Crevices that are filled with dirt and gravel should not be bypassed no matter how easy to access or reach they are, or regardless of how many times we tell ourselves "That thing HAD to be worked before." You see, the miner who was staring at that same crevice a few days before or a few years before may have reached the very same conclusion and then walked away just as you're about to do. My advice? Don't walk away but check that puppy out regardless. After all, what've you got to lose except a bit of time and perhaps a scraped finger or two?

No Two Alike

Crevices come in all shapes, sizes, configurations, widths, and depths. Some are very narrow and shallow while others are narrow and very deep. Some are wide and go down a number of feet. Not a few twist, turn, or "stair step" their way down. Some are absolutely barren while others (even the tiniest cracks) can contain more gold than you thought possible. There are no two crevices exactly alike and even if they are sitting right next to where you and every other Tom, Dick, and Harriet has parked their vehicle for decades, DO NOT pass them up. For one reason, most crevices get replenished with each year's flood or flash flood cycles. The second reason? What I'm harping about in this post and it's main topic. You and everyone else in the immediate vicinity have told themselves there can't be any gold in a crevice that easy to get to and have simply walked away from it. As you'll see by the end of this post you might end up crying bitter tears for years afterward if you make this sort of assumption.

Pounds of Gold

Not that long ago (within the past few years, that is) there have been some astonishing gold recoveries by miners who took the time to clean out easy-to-get-to crevices that others had left alone, assuming they were barren or had already been worked. I know with 100% accuracy (i.e., it's been verified) of one large crevice like this along a well-known gold bearing river in the Northern Motherlode Region of California that produced dozens of troy ounces in the matter of a few hours, if not less time than that. Yes, you heard right. Multiple troy pounds of gold from a single, bypassed crevice that was too obvious a target. The lucky miners who took this treasure trove to the bank with them thought about bypassing that crevice too...after all, it was in an easily accessible location and in an area where many other would-be miners had trod before. The difference is the miners who hit this "big one" did not follow that little voice inside that kept telling them this crevice had been worked before. They said "What the hell!" and went for it. It's probably a very, very good thing the other miners who deliberately bypassed this crevice don't know what a huge mistake they made by their erroneous assumptions. If it had been me, I'd still be crying in my beer even if I don't drink! And know this...I ain't spinning tall tales here. This event did happen.

(Nothing to sneeze at.)

An Easy Moral to Grasp

Does this mean each and every bypassed crevice is going to produce pounds of gold for you? Of course not. Some may not even turn up a spot of color. Some may produce a little bunch of fines and nice flakes. And another may give you your very first nugget if you're still awaiting that blessed event in all small-scale miners' lives. So the moral of this story is an easy one to grasp. Don't walk away from any crevice, even the ones that look like they've already been dug. Why? Because many of the latter have not been cleaned out thoroughly or all the way to their bottoms. And at the bottom is where the best gold will be. You see, crevicing is painstaking work and often requires a great amount of patience. As you already know, some folks just want the quick fix, are impatient, and most importantly...don't want to do the hard work. You can use that fact to your advantage time and time again if you have your shit together and know what you're doing. could scrape your knuckles bloody cleaning out crevices that give you little if anything 99 out of 100 times. But when number 100 comes up, you're gonna be one happy camper. So keep at it and never bypass a crevice. You never know what might turn up.

 (Don't end up like this.)

Think of it...pounds of gold from one crevice. Geeze Louise, that makes my mouth water!

(c) Jim Rocha 2017

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. WowJim! That's all I can say. You made my day when you said you were going to stick around for 2018 and see what happens. I really like the new look and Nice job! to whoever is responsible for this. You have also saved me from god knows how much agonizing frustration sitting at my ma's computer trying to download some of your articles onto a Seagate portable hard drive. I don't know for sure how to even do that and now I don't have to worry about it..ha ha!
    I like this advice about checking those crevices and my daughter, son-in-law and 3 year old grandson will be giving this a go this coming year. Son-in-law is late 30"s, never tried mining or metal detecting and is anxious to get his hands dirty. Surely there are crevices with gold laying out there!
    Thank You Jim for sticking around and I wish you a very Happy New Year as well as all of the other subscribers. May God richly bless you!

    Don F.
    Sweet Home, Oregon

    1. Mr. Don, It's all good brother. I'll stick around and see what I can do from a monetary standpoint. Gotta at least try anyway, right? So stick around and let's make 2018 happen for all of us.

  2. I just got back from a day trip to my new favorite prospecting location, found a good 3-5 inch crevice in a canyon with solid rock walls, worked it the length of the stream bed. No gold but I found 8 bullets and and a lot of bird shot! That was ok by me, I know there is gold going down that creek and there just may be gold in that sweet crevice after the next rainy season.

    1. Exactly the way to look at it Jacob. Keep at it!

  3. the new site format is super-great ....
    one habit i have developed over the years is to 'carefully and purposely' = walk = the bank/edges of my placer stream = both sides (i walk up and then down the same side then cross-over and do the other side and see what - if any - changes may have developed over the high water season = i have made a actual 'drawn' schematic/diagram of my stream-bed-banks and have seen a relative pattern develop = i have done my best to be accurate and to scale it all at 3 to 4 meter intervals {one square = 1 meter} on a 1/4 inch square graph paper ... a bit tedious and time consuming = but it sure beats 'randomness' in the field
    ... i do this first chance i can at the current 'high-water' time (has been memorial day weekend - most years) and then again about late august or most often labor-day weekend .... those 'crevices' that are evidently the most changed and seem to have the most 'chance of stuff' are checked first
    --- i always 'try' do my best to remember gold may-well be high as well as low ...
    doing a very-systematic and purpose-filled-walk {every-year} has generally paid off (gosh-darn it is not easy walking over/along a stream bank) = to me - that activity is part of the adventure !!!! ..... and that is primarily why i placer-mine = the gold is just a bonus
    - even though there may-well not be much change
    = but as you have shared earlier-on = 'ma-nature' can (and is) be fickle {my word}
    --- you wrote once about 'not'giving up on a hole' and that issue has sure literally proven true for me

    1. You're a thorough miner who understands the need for minding the details. Too many people rush in like bulls without taking the time to check things out visually and physically.

  4. Michael in Mid-HudsonJanuary 12, 2018 at 12:35 AM

    Some of the places that are usually overlooked are hiding in plain sight. I would suggest that y'all take a closer look at flood control or even small scale hydroelectric dams. You dreams of bedrock may be better than you think. Almost every dam has a common characteristic... they are all (hopefully) firmly anchored onto the bedrock. Here in the Mid-Hudson region of New York, there are pockets of glacial gold, but even more so, platinum. The early miners and explorers used to through the nuggets back, because the stuff wasn't gold or silver. Not too far from where I now reside, there are dams galore, bedrock that is vertical and perpendicular to the flow of water. Most contain both quartz and dolomite veins with tons of readily accessible fissures. I plan to "attack" the prospects with a four inch dredge/high banker while purging the crevices with a high powered water jet from a gas driven power washer. I may be new to New York, but I'll have to stop talking like a southerner, so they don't think that I'm as slow as I talk.

    Come the spring thaw...

    1. Come the thaw go for it Mike! Let me know the results...I'm keen on finding out how you do.


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